At their annual meeting in February of 2022, the African Union declared 2022 ‘The Year of Nutrition for Africa’. This is an exciting initiative as it will shine a spotlight on nutrition in Africa and push for greater political commitment on nutrition and increased investment to address the ongoing malnutrition challenges.
The AU will strive to achieve improved nutrition resilience on the African continent through the strengthening of African Agri-Food, Health and Social Protection Systems.
Why this is a crucial and timely initiative
Despite progress over the recent decades, malnutrition rates across Africa remain unacceptably high and Africa is now the only region where chronic malnutrition in children under 5 is still on the rise. At the same time, overweight, obesity and non-communicable diseases related to the quality of diets are increasing rapidly, worsening morbidity and mortality rates.
The combined impact of climate change, conflict and COVID-19 is threatening to push millions more children toward malnutrition, with lifelong consequences for their health and development, as well as for the prosperity of their communities. Urgent investment in nutrition interventions, especially targeting the most vulnerable, is an indispensable foundation to unlock human capital and build healthy and prosperous societies.
But achieving good nutrition outcomes requires long-term investment and coordinated action across multiple sectors, including health, agriculture, social protection, education, and WASH. The African Union Theme of the Year 2022 will be crucial to maintain political momentum for nutrition, building on the outcomes of the 2021 Year of Action on Nutrition. Most importantly, it can provide a new Africa-led multi-sector and multi-stakeholder platform to ensure adequate financing, implementation capacity, accountability mechanisms and multisectoral and multistakeholder coordination on nutrition across the continent.
2021 has seen many nutrition commitments announced at the N4G summit as well as National Pathways for Food Systems transformation adopted through the UN Food Systems Summit. In 2022, let’s hold Leaders and each other into account so the year yields operationalization and results!
Are you planning advocacy to build on N4G commitments and increase nutrition financing? Do you want your leaders to adopt and enforce the BMS code? Or is it through integrating nutrition services in Universal Health Coverage that you want to see make a difference? Through improving the links between agriculture and nutrition?
Whatever it is that you have planned for this year, we want to know!
We would love to hear from you, get in touch with the secretariat here.
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